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Elections 2018: Afton mayor and city council candidates

October 12,2018 13:28

What would your top priorities be if elected? Provide a positive change for our city. Stop the reckless spending and ensure a fiduciary responsibility that has been cast to the wayside. Take every step needed to preserve our open spaces and keep the ...



MAYOR
Scott Anderson
Age: 54
Scott Anderson
What qualifies you to hold this position? I’m proud to live in Afton. I believe all of us should at some point in our lives serve our community. I’m new to local government. It will not “business as usual” for me. I reject the tired old position of “we’ve always done things this way.” I’m a fresh face. Afton is in need of new leadership.This makes me a perfect candidate for this position.
What would your top priorities be if elected? Provide a positive change for our city. Stop the reckless spending and ensure a fiduciary responsibility that has been cast to the wayside. Take every step needed to preserve our open spaces and keep the rural feel of Afton. This is a priority for me to protect our citizens in what is their most emotional investment, their homes and property.
What do you think is the primary role of government? Being responsible to all members of the city. Listen to residents’ concerns and find solutions for them instead of nonsensical roadblocks. Help build & support local businesses. Be open minded. Return phone calls and emails as should be expected. Be transparent. Afton is a small town. We need to get back to the basics. We can be better. A lot better.
Website or contact: andersonforaftonmayor@gmail.com
Bill Palmquist

Bill PalmquistAge: 52

What qualifies you to hold this position? I have served on the city council for 10 years addressing water quality, open space preservation, and infrastructure issues. Over the last several years we brought high-speed internet access to the entire city, created an ongoing street revitalization program for the first time in our history, and reduced nutrient loading to the St. Croix River.
What would your top priorities be if elected? Ensure our city has a respectful, open, and responsive government. I will follow through on the road and infrastructure plan enacted two years ago, continue proactive planning to improve open space preservation, and fight for water quality and common-sense environmental protections. To maintain our local control we must all work together.
What do you think is the primary role of government? To protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents. Today farmers are under pressure, our open space is threatened, and we’ve learned our ground water is contaminated. We must proactively work to protect our community, and not rely on being reactive to issues as complex as these. As one unified community we can meet any challenge.
Website or contact: www.palmquistformayor.com
Joe Richter
Age: 67
Joe Richter
What qualifies you to hold this position? I have served as Ward 2 representative for nearly 12 years. This has given me a clear understanding of our ordinances and the resident’s desire to protect Afton. Through my years of experience in the Air Force and as a Delta airlines pilot/Captain, I have developed the leadership and problem solving skills that will be invaluable as mayor.
What would your top priorities be if elected? My top priorities are quite simple: follow the ordinances, protect the interests of the residents first, operate with transparency, and curtail frivolous spending. Over the years, I have seen this approach undermined by personal ideology, special interests, and lack of knowledge, understanding and/or application of the ordinances.
What do you think is the primary role of government? The primary role of government is to be the voice of those we represent. This is our city, not just my city. My role on the City Council has been, and will continue to be, one that actively (not passively) listens to the priorities of the residents, while upholding our ordinances equally and fairly for the protection of all who live here.
Website or contact: joerichter4mayor.com
Steven Wittl
Candidate responses not available.
For candidate profiles in other east metro races, go to www.twincities.com/minnesota-elections.
CITY COUNCIL WARD 2
Kuchen Hale
Age: 61
What qualifies you to hold this position? I have previous Council experience, serving on the Council from 2002 – 2006. During my tenure on the Council we found misuse of city funds and acted quickly to correct the issues. I am passionate about Afton; my children are third generation residents. I am respectful and I believe every opinion should be heard.
What would your top priorities be if elected? My passion is protecting our groundwater; our high quality drinking water, healthy lakes, and streams. Critical to protection is planning for future development in a way that protects as much open space as possible. We need to be proactive in how we face the future, we can’t passively sit back, thinking ‘this will never happen in our community’.
What do you think is the primary role of government? The primary role of government is to represent citizens, to listen to their concerns, needs, and guide the future.
Website or contact: kuchenm@gmail.com
Lucia Wróblewski
Age: 56
What qualifies you to hold this position? I have been an Afton planning commissioner for the past three and a half years. I am a retired police officer and coach, and my life has been dedicated to public service. I am passionate about preserving the rural character of Afton and our way of life. I am reliable, honest and responsive and would strongly advocate for residents’ concerns.
What would your top priorities be if elected? Adhering to Afton’s Comprehensive Plan and Ordinances. Preserving Afton’s rural character. Future planning for our Ag Zone to retain our beloved farmland, open spaces, wildlife corridors, natural habitat/landscapes, and parks. I would be open, responsive, and available to residents’ concerns and welcome their input.
What do you think is the primary role of government? To protect individual rights and freedom. To provide essential public services for the health, safety, and general welfare of citizens including public safety and the protection of drinking and groundwater, and the environment. To provide essential public infrastructure including roads, education, and fair and just representation.
Website or contact: lucia4ward2@gmail.com
Jennifer Backes 
Candidate responses not available.
CITY COUNCIL WARD 3
Peg Nolz
Age: 74
What qualifies you to hold this position? 12 years on City Council; eight years on Planning Commission (three as chair). Experience on many committees — Comp plan update (twice), as well as sub-committees for same, finance, personnel, etc.Employed for 28 years in IT as a Software Engineer in CAD, MIS and other departments. This involved programming, project management, budgeting.
What would your top priorities be if elected? Adherence to Afton’s Code of Ordinances – the vehicle for keeping Afton a desirable place to live. This means that there needs to be a frank look at the leaks occurring in the current spending habits, fixing the ordinances that no longer meet the residents’ needs and planning for the future growth
What do you think is the primary role of government? Health, safety and welfare of the residents. This entails providing clean water, safe roads, fire and police services as well as prioritizing projects in order to keep a rein on spending.
Website or contact: PegNolz4AftonWard3@gmail.com
Stan Ross

Stan RossAge: 66

What qualifies you to hold this position? Throughout the past four years, while serving the citizens of Afton on the City Council and representing the voices of Ward 3, I have worked countless hours to address issues brought to my attention. My commitment to address, analyze, and resolve these issues has produced real results that benefit our citizens and improve the quality of our lives.
What would your top priorities be if elected? I promise to continue to be responsive to the requests of Afton residents and to work hard to represent your concerns and ideas to the council. I would like to see continued improvements in our infrastructure and maintain Afton’s character.
What do you think is the primary role of government? It is my belief that our taxes should be used to provide a well-maintained, quality infrastructure. Strategically spend money now to keep future costs from getting out of control. I feel that limited and measured growth is the key to success in maintaining Afton’s rural character. Moderation is the key to maintaining our cherished solitude.
Website or contact: stanross4aftoncouncil.com

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